Hudson Contract wins important case at Employment Tribunal

Hudson Contract has maintained its impeccable Employment Tribunal track record, winning a ‘gig economy’ case that was brought by a self-employed surveyor. 

Wendy Lynch claimed unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal, and holiday pay against Help-Link, a national supplier and installer of heating systems.

“As always, we took charge of the claim and all the associated costs,” says Hudson Contract

Managing Director Ian Anfield.  “That’s what we promise our clients.  And that’s what we deliver.”

The tribunal ruled that Ms Lynch – described as an accomplished, mature individual and effective communicator, not averse to asking or dealing with difficult questions’ – voluntarily agreed to adopt self-employed status with Hudson Contract in 2011 and direct with Help-Link in 2015, had signed agreements with clear references to self-employment and freelance status and had both read and understood the terms.

She was paid on a commission-only basis, earning ‘significantly more’ than her employed surveyor colleagues, was able to decline appointments, was not subject to any form of supervision, control or performance review from either Hudson Contract or Help-Link, and was entitled to send another person to carry out her services.

The judgement noted that Ms Lynch’s agreement ‘preserved her much cherished flexibility and autonomy, together with continued access to enhanced rights of commission’ and was ‘not capable’ of conferring employment or worker status.  It also added that in representations to the taxman, Ms Lynch declared herself as self-employed.

Ian Anfield comments: “This was an opportunistic claim, rightfully dismissed.”

Ms Lynch, was represented by Jacqueline McGuigan who also represented heating engineer Gary Smith in the Supreme Court case victory over Pimlico Plumbers that established Mr Smith was a worker and not self-employed.  Ms McGuigan said after the case that an appeal would be considered.

“It goes to show the importance of ensuring both the contract of self-employment and the workplace circumstances are compliant,” Ian Anfield adds.  “Hudson Contract met all the tests for self-employment, and Pimlico Plumbers did not.  That’s all there is to it.  It’s a significant judgment, and it was reported in the Times.  But what is even more important is that we were able to spare our client the cost and the anxiety of dealing with the case themselves.  We will do the same again should there be any appeal.”

Read the judgement here: Case number 1806868/2018

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